Edit: Sorry ladies and gentlemen, but this post had something that I needed to fix. Turns out I had to delete and re-post it. We had some good comments going, so I’ve re-posted those at the bottom of this new article. By all means, keep them coming and thanks for the nice response.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Two articles from your favorite Pulse writer in one week. In two days no less! I guess you can credit it to how much I just love wrestling fans.
This is one of those articles where I feel like I should start out by thanking Jonathan Widro, Mattew Michaels, and Pulse Glazer for allowing me to write for Inside Pulse, with people who I don’t relate to at all. Still though, I’m here and they still let me say me piece after over a year of pissing people off. All things considered, that’s pretty cool.
That said, I hope that no one decides to take it pesonally when I decide to disagree with pretty much everything that pertty much everyone has to say. As a perfect example, this week after RAW, pretty much everyone was ready to run into John Cena’s arms when The Rock didn’t deliver to their expectations.
To save time and for simplicity’s sake, rather than dig up actual comments, I decided to paraphrase from comments and snipets from articles on this site as well as others. I also want to point out that for the comments I’m responding to, I put “everyone”, and guaranteed some worm is going to point out how not EVERYONE said that. Yes, I know not EVERYONE said it.
Everyone: The Rock doesn’t love the business. If he did, he never would have gone Hollywood.
Blair: Pure professional wrestling fan bullshit nonsense logic at it’s finest.
Put yourself in The Rock’s shoes, say around 2001 or so. Only 6 years ago, you didn’t make the cut in professional football and your wrestling career was on the skids. Now, you’re at the top of the entire game. You’re making some pretty sweet money. You’ve been World Champion a few times. And it only took a relatively short period of time. And all of this happened in the business you grew up watching your dad and grandfather compete in. That’s pretty cool.
Then, Hollywood comes knocking at your door.
What do you do?
Well, you’re already pretty popular – but mostly only inside the small bubble that is professional wrestling. But even if you have even a mediocre amount of success in movies, you’ll most likely top that, especially since most of those wrestling fans will probably see your movies anyway. You’re already making decent money – but not big screen movie money.
And keep in mind, you’re also busting your ass every single night, getting dropped on your head regularly, putting up with an insane road schedule, navigating petty backstage politics involving a fake sport, peeing into cups, and putting your physical well-being in the hands of guys who are failing the tests that involve the peeing into the cups, also on a nightly basis. In addition, you’ve been around these wrestling fans for a while – you know they’re going to get sick of you at some point, even if you do your best to stay fresh. Also, take a look at the guys who are older and / or reitred – how are they dealing with life outside of wrestling?
You go and do movies, you’re not going to have to deal with AAAAAny of that. And you’ll make more money. And you’ll reach a broader audience.
What’s the worst that can happen? Even if it doesn’t work out, you can come back to wrestling. Fans LOVE it when wrestlers come back. And if they don’t? Big deal. You can be a heel.
So, take a look back at all of that. Now, pretend you’re asking someone you trust what they think you should do. Say it’s a family member or close friend. Anyone who cares about you or your career in the slightest would never say anything other than:
“Wait, what are you asking me? You big fucking moron. Are you taking stupid pills? What the fuck is wrong with you? What kind of a fucking stupid question is that? Seriously. I’m serious. Look at me. Are you looking? Good. Now listen. Listen carefully. You are an idiot if you fuck this up. I get that you’re doing good, but what you’re basically asking here is whether you should continue living as a carny while likely crippling yourself and making less money. Of course not. That’s a really stupid fucking question. Give your fucking head a shake and go make movies.”
So that begs the question. Do you think The Rock is a complete fucking moron?
Everyone: The Rock said he was “never leaving again” but it was all a lie!
Blair: I refuse to believe that anyone could ACTUALLY think that The Rock would be THAT eager to return to full-time carny life while he was still being paid to make moves. The guy was experiencing success when his movies weren’t even box-office successes. Why would he ever do go back?! For what?!?!
Put yourself in The Rock’s shoes… on second thought, don’t. I’m not writing all that out again. Just basically put yourself into the exact opposite situation as above.
I think the guy has been on less than 10 shows total since he came back? And he’s going to have 2 actual ring matches in just over a year. He’s making money and he gets to promote the movies he’s doing.
And, if you take anything away from this – do not – for a second – pretend that wrestling fans don’t go apeshit every time he shows up.
Everyone: The Rock is taking a main-event slot away from younger talent who deserve it.
Blair: You mean like Shaemus, Mark Henry, Cody Rhodes, and Wade Barrett? Right. Because those guys are totally RIGHT on the edge of being huge money-makers. The Rock being back is going to fuck all that up. Look at The Miz. He’d have been a HUGE star if it wasn’t for Rock interfering last year, right?
Everyone: JOHN CENA OWNED THE ROCK ON MONDAY! ROCKY SUCKS!!! CENA AT ‘MANIA!!!
Blair: So Rock’s promo didn’t go over, and Cena doesn’t suck for one week… ONE WEEK… MAYBE two… and you clowns are ready to get behind the guy you’ve been complaining about for over 5 years. Why would Rock want to leave such loyal fans?!?!
Remember, they did this EXACT same thing last year… Cena had the chains taken off and was allowed to cut a couple good promos. He did WrestleMania. Then he became lame again.
Cena is fighting the main event against The Rock, for crying out loud. You really thought they’d let the build be ALL Rock? So of course The Rock was okay with what happened on Monday. You really think he’s unprofessional enough to mouth the word “motherfucker”? Rock knew exactly what was coming. He’s a pro. Stop pretending like it was a shoot.
Everyone: Say what you want about John Cena, but he’s there every week, and he loves and respects the business.
Blair: That’s because Hollywood won’t take John Cena. (Real Hollywood. Not WWE Films.)
Trust me, if they would, he’d be gone, and probably a LOT faster than The Rock was. Because what’s been happening to Cena for years is exactly what The Rock has avoided. But no one has to worry about that happening anyway, because Cena is not a good actor and Hollywood isn’t coming for him.
Everyone: The Rock is leaving to do a movie right after WrestleMania! Cena must want to rip him to shreds!
Blair: No. No he doesn’t. Do you know how much John Cena must absolutely fucking LOVE The Rock right now? Rock has done more for Cena than anyone else that Cena has touched in his entire career. And I guarantee you that when Cena gets his post-WrestleMania cheque from working with Rock, he’ll be so excited that he’d probably blow him.
I don’t want anyone to think that I’m ripping on anyone for being behind Cena. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. But bitching about him for 48 weeks out of the year doesn’t make a lot of sense if you’re just going to get behind him the second he’s allowed to say something not completely lame and tiresome.
And again, I know not EVERYONE said ALL of the things above. But a lot of people DID say these kinds of things. I’m actually not that huge a fan of The Rock, truth be told. But the bottom line is, he’s the biggest star in the business, second only to maybe Hulk Hogan. He surpassed Austin, Undertaker, and everyone else. Pretending that he’s not having an impact on the business is silly. Pretending that he’s HURTING the business is even sillier.
That’s all the time we have for this week. Before we go, let’s get to my…
New Rule #1: This has been called out by a few people already, but I was as glad as anyone reading this that someone called out Chris Brown, probably even more so because it was done by one of my favorite wrestlers of all time. The only problem is, if CM Punk REALLY wanted to fight someone who beats up on women, then he missed his chance every single time that Steve Austin attended one of the shows.
New Rule #2: There’s nothing wrong with having Triple H on every WWE DVD retrospective of someone’s career. But he certainly doesn’t need to be in every single segment of that DVD, especially when the segment is regarding something that has absolutely nothing to do with him.
New Rule #3: Don’t act shocked when a WWE TV match that airs a few weeks before WrestleMania features more booking than it does wrestling, and screwball finishes. Yes, even the most loyal Mark Henry fans among us will probably admit that CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are the best in-ring match that WWE is capable of putting on at the moment, yet many seemed surprised that their match last week had screwball tactics to keep from a clean finish. These weren’t new wrestling fans either, even Scott Keith was among them. It seems odd that in this day and age, anyone is surprised by the fact that they wouldn’t let a ‘Mania title match or money match contender lose cleanly before WrestleMania, or, for that matter, any PPV. It especially makes no sense when the match itself was probably one of the best you’ve seen on WWE TV in some time, aside from Bryan and Punk’s encounter late last year… with or without the overbooking. Sure, it sucks when Shaemus is involved in anything in any capacity, but at least what he’s doing made sense.
How and ever, It’s been this way for over a decade. Where does the surprise still come from? Once the big matches are set for a PPV, you’re not often going to see anyone in those matches losing cleanly. If what you want is longer matches with clean finishes, then watch the PPV’s and don’t worry too much about RAW or SmackDown. Just read what happened and you can YouTube anything that actually sounds good. That’s what I do – and yes, it is the exact same thing. And it sure beats wasting 4 hours our of your week.
New Rule #4: TNA Fans need to stop pretending that WWE even remotely worries about a company run out of an amusement park. Especially when Ric Flair is going to the Hall Of Fame, and Hulk Hogan was on The Rock’s DVD.
New Rule #5: I’m more than willing to admit that it’s sad when an up-and-coming wrestler gets hurt just before WrestleMania, no matter how shitty and over-rated that up-and-coming wrestler may be. In return, the people that pretend that Wade Barrett ISN’T shitty and over-rated should be willing to admit that no one is going to walk away from WrestleMania saying anything along the lines of “You know what that show needed? More Wade Barrett.”
Well, that’s all the time we have for another thrilling episode of “Interinactivity”. I know there probably wasn’t enough Wade Barrett for everyone’s tastes, but what can I say? I’m tired.
I’m off next week. Remember to comment, e-mail, or hit me up on Twitter @BlairADouglas. Everyone have a great weekend, and thanks for reading.
I’ll be in my trailer.
For the record, I did say that Cena would leave right now if his movie career took off. With that said, that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the fact that for one week this finally looked like an even exchange.
Also, I would contend that I’d be more into The Rock’s return if he didn’t spend 20 minutes on ZOMG trending topics this week.
Posted by CB40 | March 2, 2012, 6:29 am
As I said, the plan seems to be to have Rock look like a tool just to get a cheap pop so that Cena can “win” the first exchange and prove his point.
Posted by Mike Gojira | March 2, 2012, 7:15 am
Well, count me in on that “Everyone” comment…
Why? Look at John Cena as a counterexample. John Cena is passionate about this business (and you guys better be thankful he is, because I don’t think McMahon would’ve been allowed to continue in business if he didn’t have someone like Cena to fall back on) to the point that nobody on this roster is.
I think he’d rather be in the ring than doing “The Marine” or the like, but he recognizes the broad brush the WWE wants to do with respect to entertainment.
I assert that the current roster has almost no passion for the business whatsoever, and most of them are too concerned with getting themselves over (which very few have).
Posted by Starcade | March 2, 2012, 8:33 am
Well, he certainly didn’t make it too hard. By the time Cena was done with him, The Rock was made to look like a stammering idiot.
Posted by Starcade | March 2, 2012, 8:33 am
Thank you for commenting, but that just doesn’t make any sense to me at all. Sorry. First of all, “The Marine” isn’t really Hollywood. That’s a WWE Film. Second of all, how do you know what Cena would or wouldn’t like to do outside the WWE? You’re confusing the character with the guy. Nothing against Cena, but you have nothing to base that on.
WAY more broadly, how do you know that the entire current roster has no passion for it?! What are you basing THAT on?
Posted by Blair A. Douglas | March 2, 2012, 9:03 am
CB, I know you clarified that in your column. And I agree, it does sort of seem a bit more even now. I do think that as long as people keep TRENDING whatever he says, it won’t be going away anytime soon. WWE is all about their Twitter now.
Gojira, I think you’re absolutely right.
Starcade, is it still real to you, dammit?
Posted by Blair A. Douglas | March 2, 2012, 9:08 am
Dude, CM Punk, Zack Ryder and Dolph Ziggler are the biggest wresting nerds ever. Ziggler even dropped out of law school to chance it as a wrestler. If anything, the roster now is doing it for more right reasons than any roster in history.
Posted by mrjamesacarter | March 2, 2012, 11:15 am
By that logic, how do you know what “Hollywood” would or wouldn’t offer Cena? You also have nothing to base it on either with what Cena would do if an offer was made, nor do you have an idea IF any offers have ever been made.
Posted by Bob | March 2, 2012, 11:43 am
Posted by KON | March 2, 2012, 11:50 am
I think that a certain type of person would rather be a big fish in a little pond than vice versa.
Austin didn’t take the Nash Bridges spinoff when that was being proposed. Depending on which story you believe, either the WWE wouldn’t give him the time off or Austin wanted to return to the ring. I don’t think Austin is significantly less of an idiot than Cena.
Posted by Bob | March 2, 2012, 12:27 pm
All that being said, I liked the article and loved the new “rules”.
Posted by Bob | March 2, 2012, 12:27 pm
Next Mania, CM Punk vs Mel Gibson in a title warm up match, book it.
Posted by Cristo | March 2, 2012, 12:50 pm
I wouldn’t think so either, but NASH BRIDGES, a spinoff of Nash Bridges no less, is not anything to get too excited about. I doubt he’d even make as much as he would have in WWE at the time. I guess that’s where we’d split hairs about what is and isn’t a quality project – I wouldn’t think that TV is as attractive an option as movies, given that few TV shows ever survive.
I get what you’re saying about big fish / little pond, but that’s not really all there is to it. The life that you’re living and how hard you’re working plays into it as well. A lot easier to make a movie than it is to wrestle on the road 250 days a year or whatever it is.
Posted by Blair A. Douglas | March 2, 2012, 1:07 pm
I guess my Nash Bridges comment was more in response to the idea that the WWE would encourage one of their top stars into something Hollywood in order to appear or appeal more mainstream.
I don’t think they do. According to my memory of an interview with Austin (which I cant find right now so I could be off base). Austin WANTED to pursue the spinoff (and some other projects) but WWE wouldnt let him. This irritated Austin because the WWE did let the Rock when his opportunity came up.
I think WWE learned a lesson of sorts as to what happens when the stars they produce get opportunities the WWE cant control. They leave and wont come back without a giant payday.
While I’m sure the primary reason WWE spun up WWE productions was to make money(or whatever their movie department is called), I think they also did so they could control and to a lesser extent, limit what projects their talent gets involved in. I don’t think they want to risk creating and losing another Rock when their top level talent pool is thin.
The other part that I’m not exactly sure if Im expressing myself properly: I think Cena is EXACTLY the type of person who would rather be a big fish in a small pond. Especially when his role is so secured. I think he is complacent exactly where he is. We see it in his wrestling, his movesets, and the limited outside entertainment roles he has been involved in.
This isn’t to say he’s lazy or stupid (though that inference can be drawn depending on perspective). I think he works very hard, between alot of great charity work, and serves as a really good well spoken ambassador to mainstream media for the WWE. But I don’t think he’s wants to take it to the next level the way the Rock did. Perhaps because he doesn’t want to risk his spot. Perhaps he doesn’t have the self confidence in his ability (or just the plain ability) the Rock had. Perhaps Vince has blackmail pictures of him on a bear skin rug…
Posted by Bob | March 2, 2012, 1:41 pm
They aren’t showing it, James. I can see what you’re saying, but it almost seems to me like how Edge has been going when he finally made the jump to the top.
Edge was one of the “biggest wrestling nerds ever” too, but the only reason he was put on the top of the card, IMODO, was that he screwed over Matt Hardy and RL took his girlfriend.
That’s how I look at a lot of the guys today, especialy the likes of Orton.
Zack Ryder is actually being punished for going outside the box and trying to put himself over.
Dolph Ziggler, even with his belt, is a joke.
And CM Punk is an Internet darling with a botched storyline, making him nothing but a placeholder where he is because there are no other healthy bodies to put there.
Posted by Starcade | March 2, 2012, 1:48 pm
You see, here’s the thing that gets me: I don’t even think Cena would WANT to be in movies, at this juncture.
How do I know it? Well, you obviously don’t believe Cena when he says what he says about WWE — nor the passion with which he says it. THAT’S how I believe I know.
And what am I basing that I don’t believe the rest of the roster has the passion for it? Look at these guys? When you basically have to put SANTINO FREAKING MARELLA nearly as Top Face on Smackdown (he’s #2, at worst, at this point), there just seems to be no one who’s willing to go out there and establish the passion and the dedication necessary to actually carry this company.
Posted by Starcade | March 2, 2012, 1:52 pm
You’d be one of a decreasing number of people, Blair, who believes Cena isn’t an idiot. (Not slamming you, just that I think the vast majority of the Attitude-Era wannabe contigent of the Universe thinks not only Cena is an idiot, but so is the entire decision-making hierarchy of the WWE.)
Posted by Starcade | March 2, 2012, 1:54 pm
And don’t you think that that’s a problem, Blair, that the WWE is all about TRENDING and all that stuff?
That’s a 20-minute burst. That’s VINCE RUSSO-stuff right there.
And as for that last little shot, Blair: I’d like it to at least be that I didn’t have to feel that _I_ was the bad guy for actually wanting to see someone with a spine and dedication (something I think badly lacking in both major professional leagues, but the WWE more than a lot of you are willing to admit) speak up and carry the company.
Posted by Starcade | March 2, 2012, 1:56 pm
No, Rock was made to look like an idiot. You want to talk about kayfabe, that’s the last thing I would want The Rock to look like four weeks before “The Most Anticipated Match of All Time”.
If The Rock isn’t going to plant Cena in the center of the ring every time they get together, The Rock has one weapon: His promos. By the time Cena got done with him, Rock almost sounded… unprofessional.
You want to talk that that’s kayfabe, then somebody who’s putting this all together must think Cena is an abject idiot, because he basically has to neuter The Rock to make Cena relevant in all this?
Come on, KON, and stop drinking the #TeamFilmIt Kool-Aid.
Posted by Starcade | March 2, 2012, 1:58 pm
I’m kinda on neither team.
Cena has to look good to appease the kiddies. At the same time, he as to look bad to the older fas because they boo him anyway. It’s the perfect situation for WWE because the people who want Cena to turn heel are already booing him. He’s already a heel to the older fans.
The Rock? I’d rather him, Jericho & HHH buggered off. Taker too, after putting a young guy over.
Posted by KON | March 2, 2012, 2:02 PM